As a resident of what is possibly the bluest place in the entire country, I struggle with this question.
All of us in #TheResistance have seen the proliferation of lists of what we should do to respond to the depredations of our so-called president. Many of them include “call your Senators” (I would LOVE to call my Senators, but that would require that I, you know, HAVE Senators) and “run for office at the local, state, or national level.” National’s not an option where I live (taxation without representation, yo), and I’m skeptical that replacing a reliably liberal city council member with another reliable liberal will have a major impact.
Other blue-staters are, no doubt, experiencing the same thing. Sure, we can march and protest (spacing out words appropriately on poster board is not as easy as it looks!), give money to the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center and local groups who are doing good things (and don’t forget to consider volunteering with them, too), call to make make sure our Democratic representatives at the local, state, and national levels continue to do the right things, and troll @realDonaldTrump relentlessly on Twitter (or is that just me?).
But we know that our liberal sisters and brothers in purple and red areas have a much tougher job. Is there anything we can do to help?
I’m glad you asked!
One option is Swing Left, which pairs motivated volunteers from safely blue locations with teams working in the nearest swing districts to mobilize to take back the House of Representatives in 2018. Which is not going to be easy. Although the travesty that is gerrymandering is falling under increasing judicial scrutiny, even if all goes perfectly with the current case that’s come up for SCOTUS review (Whitford v. Gill), it may not be corrected by 2018. But, as Hecate is fond of noting, Dems need to contest EVERY seat in 2018, even those that look impossible. So help a nearby district Swing Left! (As for me, I plan to revive an old school DC home rule tactic and go after Jason Chaffetz. He’s not exactly local, or in a swing district, but he’s definitely earned my ire. That ought to at least buy his opponent a nice donation and some phone calls.)
Another option is Emily’s List. “But wait, Mrs. Whatsit!” you might say. “Isn’t the point of Emily’s List to run for office? And didn’t you just say that ousting a liberal in favor of another liberal seems kind of silly?”
Well, yes, on both counts.
BUT! Emily’s List knows that success in running for office isn’t just about the woman who runs – it’s also about the team of staff and volunteers around her who help her by doing data entry, stuffing envelopes, making calls, making signs, holding fundraisers, transporting other volunteers, registering people to vote, etc. Which is why they’ve launched the Run To Win campaign. If you can run, that’s great. If not, or if you’re in a place where it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to challenge your already-with-us incumbent, you can sign up to contribute in all the ways I’ve just listed AND MORE to get more progressive, pro-choice, Democratic women elected to office at the local, state, and national levels. While you’re at it, go ahead and take their training to run for office, too – a little knowledge is a VERY good thing, and you never know when it might come in handy.
For those of you who are in safely blue areas: what are you doing to support #TheResistance in red and purple areas?
For those of you in purple or red areas: what do you need from those of us who are “safely blue”?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Image found here.